Sunday, 28 April 2013

Noodle Star

It's been a while since I've eaten at Noodle Star on 16th Avenue and Woodbine. It used to be one of my go-to favourites for afternoon tea. 

Seafood tofu soup
The soup was filled with shrimp, crab meat, tofu chunks and gailan slivers. The texture of the soup is thick and gooey and it's pretty substantial as a starter course. 

Fish sauce chicken 
The chicken was sweetened with the fish sauce flavour and it was pretty meaty and relatively boneless. 

Left: Dried fish with Gailan 
Right: Beef brisket and tofu bowl
The gailan was flavoured with a slight fishy taste and tasted pretty good (if you like that flavour). 
The beef brisket and tofu bowl was mediocre; the brisket wasn't tender enough and there wasn't enough tofu. 

Fukien fried rice 
One of my favourite types of fried rice: Fukien fried rice is always served with lots of sauce on top. The sauce was rich with mushrooms, meat and gailan and when you mix the sauce in the rice - it's just so much better than normal fried rice. 

Clockwise from top left: Stir fried green beans with pork, pan-fried pork chops with spicy salt and boiled salted duck. 
The stir-fried green beans and pan-fried pork chops were okay, but not as good as Maple Yip's
I liked the boiled salted duck though. It was relatively boneless, tender and delicious. The pink vinegar sauce added a tang to the duck meat.

Pork belly with pickled vegetables 
The pork belly was lean and a little tougher than I would have liked and it had a heavy pickled vegetable taste. I still think Maple Yip's is better.

Chicken and mushroom rice 
I really liked this rice dish. It was really tasty with all the juices from the chicken and chinese mushrooms soaked and flavoured in the rice underneath. Add soy sauce and it's amazing! 

Red bean dessert
A little watery, but it was okay.

Overall: It had a nice family vibe, the service was really efficient and the food was decent and affordable. 
Noodle Star on Urbanspoon

Friday, 26 April 2013

Ramen Raijin

A few of my friends have been going ga-ga for ramen and I've been taken along for the here I go again:
Ramen Raijin

Raijin's menu
IMAG2439  IMAG2440 

Hanpa Cha-shu $1
Two of my friends ordered Sapporo beer and got little dishes of this cha-shu, but then we decided to order one for the table since it made such an easy to share (and cheap) appetizer. The pulled pork was on the dry side, but it had nice flavour. 

Spicy Miso Ramen
The spicy miso ramen had a nice rich and slightly spicy broth - perfect for a cold winter's day.

Black Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen
This ramen is the specialty of Raijin. It has a distinctive black broth which looks a little intimidating at first, but it's actually a really delicious and grainy charcoal broth. It was definitely one of the better and more memorable ramens I've had.

Overall: Raijin's Black Charcoal Dark Miso ramen was really good - it was distinctive and different than any other ramen offered in Toronto and quite tasty.

Ramen Raijin on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Yokozuna Japanese Ramen Inc.

We saw the Ramen restaurant when we passed by Silver Star Boulevard and decided to try it out:
Yokozuna Japanese Ramen Inc.

Appetizer Menu

Ramen Menu
Ramen Menu Part 2

Ramen Menu Part 1

Tenderous Rib Soup Ramen
Tenderous Rib Soup Ramen
The beef ribs were tender and tasty, but I found that the ingredients didn't really go well together. There's something to be said about the balance of a good ramen and this felt like a haphazard pairing of ingredients including broccoli, corn, very thinly sliced naruto maki and mushrooms in a beef broth.

Sapporo Ramen
Sapporo Ramen
The Sapporo started with a garlic butter broth which was very heavy and super rich - it tasted like melted garlic butter in soup and was rather overwhelming. The combination of ingredients was better with this ramen even if the ramen egg was mediocre (see Kinton for a better ramen egg) and the cha-shu was okay.

Kyushu Ramen
Kyushu Ramen
The miso based broth was the best of the three (and I finally understand why most ramen places use it instead of playing up different soup bases). The cha-shu was okay, the narutomaki lacked flavour (most likely because they were too thinly sliced), overall it was okay.

Overall: Yokozuna Japanese Ramen experiments with the soup bases and the ingredients, but I wasn't really a fan of the combinations. The ramen was mediocre, but it was cheaper here than in downtown Toronto.
YOKOZUNA Japanese Ramen Inc. on Urbanspoon

Monday, 8 April 2013

Solo Sushi Bekkan

A coworker recommded Solo Sushi Bekkan for lunch and so a group of us went to try it out.
It's a relatively tiny restaurant with around 20 seats - so if you don't make a reservation, it's probably best to wait until a little after the lunch rush to grab a table. 
solo sushi bekkan

The lunch specials are around $10-15 and come with salad and miso soup.
Fresh ingredients beautifully presented with a nice tangy soy sauce dressing.

miso soup
Miso soup

The gyoza had paper thin wrappers around a meat and vegetable stuffing and they were lightly pan-fried. 

chicken teriyaki lunch bento
Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box
I kept staring at the bento wondering why it was different than the traditional Japanese bento boxes for lunch and then I realized that they served the salad separately and instead this bento had a side of egg and potato salad. It was okay, a little bland. However, the rest of the bento box with chicken teriyaki, spicy tuna roll and crispy battered tempura had tons of flavour. 

Overall: A nice lunch at Solo Sushi Bekkan: the food was decent and the bento was pretty filling.

Solo Sushi Bekkan on Urbanspoon